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Competitiveness and Industrial Policy

Detail of chemical plant © Olivier -

The chemicals industry is one of the largest European manufacturing sectors and, as an enabling industry, it has a pivotal role in providing innovative materials and technological solutions which largely determine Europe's industrial competitiveness as a whole. The industry is currently in a process of rapid structural change, facing major challenges from increased competition from emerging countries, rising energy prices, new regulations and the need for innovation.

A competitive chemical industry means an industry that is able to improve living standards, that generates employment and wealth, constantly fuelling innovation and development throughout the economic system. Competitiveness has a strong international dimension.

The Commission has initiated a number of initiatives to foster the competitiveness of the European chemicals industry on a path towards increasing sustainability. These include the setting-up of a High Level Group on the Competitiveness of the European Chemicals Industry, which delivered its final report in February 2009. The Commission is actively engaged in the implementation of the HLG recommendations.


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